Sunday, September 02, 2007

Super Ivan

We've got a vehicle here that lots of people who visit
are really amazed by. Built by the Foremost company in
Canada, it's called the Terra Bus. At McMurdo, it's been
nicknamed "Ivan the Terrabus". Aren't we witty?
It's a 55,000 pound, roughly 49 X 12 X 13 six wheel drive
monster that has a turning radius of 75 feet and it's top
speed is listed as 25 mph (although I think that might be
a bit of a stretch for ours). Plain and simple, it just
doesn't move that fast. However, someone posted a photo
on the I:drive the other day that has other plans for how
they'd like to see Ivan move down the road. Jet engines
and a large tail with wings included.

Apparently, this isn't the first time someone has had
delusions of grandeur regarding Ivan's speed. There's
been a hand-painted banner hanging in the MCC (Movement
Control Center) here for years with Ivan "taking off"
to parts unknown. Both images seem to be wishful thinking
as Ivan these days lumbers along at about 15 mph. But it
can always dream...


Anonymous said...

If I put it in top gear going down Scott Base Hill I bet I could get it over 25mph. Never tried it, but I bet it's possible. Gravity could do wonders for Ivan, in some terrifying ways, coming around that corner in front of Scott Base.


Unknown said...

I bet it does go faster down hill - I'm a tour guide at the Columbia Icefield in Canada, where the other 22 Terra buses are. All those built before I think 1987 or so are what we call "non-turbos", which means they have much older transmissions and are very slow uphill. But downhill, they just take off. We tell the tourists the top speed is "11 miles an hour" but I'm sure it's getting up to at least 20 mph on steep hills. You need to go downhill to do it though. Uphill, it's achingly slow...